Tax filing process has returned to sense of normalcy

Taxpayers should still watch for scams

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – For Larry Berkbuegler and the rest of the AARP Tax Services team, the last two years have been hectic. 

“People would bring in their information. We would take the information, talk to them a little bit, get some information from them, and then we’d say, ‘Okay, come back in two weeks,’ and give them an appointment, and they’d come back,” he said. “In the meantime, we would all get together here and prepare the tax returns and get them ready for them so when they’d come back, they’d be finished.” 

But this year, as district coordinator Delwin Elfrink explained, that process has been expedited considerably. 

“This year, we’re back to our normal process of one visit,” he said. “They come in; they sit in front of us. We do the tax return, review it with them, and they are done at that point, and we electronically file the taxes.” 

The IRS is encouraging some people to wait to file a tax return, saying not to call them in regard to questions about state payments, but rather to wait for official or professional guidance. 

This course of action coincides with the emergence of tax-related scams this time of year. These voice phishers, or “vishers”, impersonate the IRS and try to get you to make a payment. 

Elfrink provided his advice about avoiding these scams. 

“First thing, IRS will not call you, and any correspondence you have with IRS, they will be mailing requests to you for information. With your income tax, have it done by a paid preparer that has done it for some time, as well as the services that we provide.” 

And in very simple terms, Elfrink leaves us with one more bit of sound advice. 

“Best advice: Get your taxes done.” 

Related story: Free income tax prep assistance available to some Illinoisians

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